GFM Network News


Harvest better than expected in most — but not all — areas

Harvest better than expected in most — but not all — areas

Expectations were low in many areas of the province, but yield and quality have generally been decent

Reading Time: 3 minutes This year’s crop quality and yields are better than expected, which comes as a major surprise to both farmers and agronomists across the province. “Even as late as seeding was done, the yield seems to be average or better than expected, which is surprising, when some canola was planted on the 7th or 8th of […] Read more

Premature bleaching of infected spikelet in wheat.

Now is the time to create next year’s battle plan for fusarium

Scouting this year is the first step in limiting the impact of the cereal disease next year

Reading Time: 2 minutes Although it’s likely too late to apply a fungicide for fusarium graminearum, producers can still use the information they gather about the outbreak to plan for subsequent growing seasons. Fusarium graminearum is considered the most important fusarium head blight (FHB) species due to its aggressiveness and production of deoxynivalenol or DON (a.k.a. vomitoxin), said crop […] Read more


Wet weather last August has increased the odds of pea leaf weevil infestation this year.

Another hangover from last year’s dismal weather

Pea leaf weevil have been spreading north and last summer’s wet conditions will give them a boost this year

Reading Time: 3 minutes Research shows that treating pea seed with a systemic insecticide product is the most effective control measure to prevent pea leaf weevil damage. Legume crops such as field peas and fababeans produce most of the nitrogen they need, but pea leaf weevils “greatly compromise” that process, said provincial crop specialist Neil Whatley. The pest showed […] Read more

Better varieties and equipment have made growing lentils easier, but field selection is still key.

Now’s the time to plan for next year’s lentil crop

Rocky fields and poorly drained ones are a poor choice, and high nitrogen levels will just encourage vegetative growth

Reading Time: 2 minutes In preparation for growing lentils in 2017, field selection, fall weed control, and residue management should be top of mind this fall, says a provincial crop specialist. While land rollers, flex headers, higher-podding varieties, and improved lodging resistance have allowed producers to grow lentils on less-than-ideal fields, it continues to be important to select fields […] Read more


Lentil acres in Alberta have more than doubled in 2016, thanks in part to better genetics, said provincial crop specialist Neil Whatley.

Pulses’ popularity points to bright future

The boom in pulse acres may just be getting started thanks 
to rising demand, better varieties, and strong profitability

Reading Time: 3 minutes Only one hand shot up when Neil Whatley asked a recent crop tour near Castor if anyone was growing lentils this year. Luckily, a more rigorous Statistics Canada survey tells the real story — there are a whole lot of hands growing lentils this year. “There’s close to six million acres on the Prairies this […] Read more

If you haven’t locked in lentil prices, keep a close watch on the markets as bigs can move 10 cents or more on spikes, said Alberta Pulse Growers’ Nevin Rosaasen.

Lentil harvest — and marketing — comes with a learning curve

Lentils stay green into harvest, but you don’t want to wait too long

Reading Time: 3 minutes With Alberta lentil acres more than doubling in 2016, this fall will be the first-ever lentil harvest for a good number of growers. The trick to doing it successfully? Patience, said Nevin Rosaasen, policy and program specialist with Alberta Pulse Growers. “Harvesting lentils can be tricky, and you need to be patient,” said Rosaasen. “Lentils […] Read more


As the temperatures fall, the chance of spoilage goes up if you’re not keeping a close eye on canola in the bin.

Don’t gamble by not aerating your canola

Uneven maturity means there’s more green seed this year, and that ups the risk of spoilage

Reading Time: 2 minutes You can lose a lot of money in a hurry, so watch for potential canola storage problems as fall transitions into early winter, says a provincial crop specialist. “Canola seed’s high oil content makes it very susceptible to deterioration in storage,” said Neil Whatley. “Safe, long-term canola storage is at or below eight per cent […] Read more

lentil crop

Lentils getting lots of notice

The price is nice, but don’t forget their ability to fix 
nitrogen, reduce disease pressure, and improve soil 


Reading Time: 3 minutes Producers chasing the market are looking into lentils — but they pay off in other ways. Two are reduced disease and insect pressure, said Neil Whatley, crop specialist at the Ag-Info Centre in Stettler. “If you’ve got canola/wheat (rotation), you can put something like a lentil or a field pea or a forage in there,” […] Read more